Many people decide to have a psychic reading to look into relationships or to explore how a potential love match will be. Using your intuition to establish how strong a connection is, is great but how much does a partner (or potential partner) have to have in common with you? Do they need to share the same taste in music for example? Have the same hobbies and interests? If you went on a date and even if they were cute and nice and you’re having a great time, if you discovered they listen to Nickleback and this is your musical equivalent of root canal therapy without anaesthesia, would this be a deal-breaker? What if they watch nothing but The Only Way is Essex and you are constantly tuned to the news and current affairs? Is the relationship doomed as a result?
While it is important to share values in common with a partner – such a similar views on honesty, trust and monogamy and how you want to bring up children for example, sharing similar tastes and interests may be less important than we think when it comes to relationship success. You would be surprised at how many people remain in relationships which are no longer working just because they share similar interests with their current partner and can listen to the same music or watch the same re-runs of their favourite TV show with them over and over again. Sharing similar interests with someone is always fun but is no indicator in itself that the relationship will work in the longer term.
Let’s face it, on-line dating profiles put a lot of emphasis on shared interests. And we can say this is always a good starting-off point when we are trying to get to know someone. We need to be able to open a conversation on common ground. But once we have got over that initial ‘speed bump’, compatibility in interests may not be that important according to US psychologist Mira Kirshenbaum in her book Is He Mr Right? She argues that we tend to confuse ‘I’m like him’ with ‘I like him’ which can lead us into big relationship mistakes. If we really want to know if a relationship can work, rather than focussing on things we have in common with someone, she says we need to pay attention to what she calls the ‘Five Degrees of Chemistry’ which are:
1. You feel comfortable with the person and can be open, honest, and talk freely with each other about anything – not just things you may have in common!
2. You feel safe with them. You don’t feel they are going to lie, cheat, abuse you, or put you in any position where you are in danger either physically, psychologically or financially.
3. It’s fun being with them – no matter what you are doing.
4. You have real affection and passion for each other. This isn’t limited to sexual chemistry, but includes everything from compliments to cuddling.
5. You share mutual respect. You both respect each other for who you are and what you’re doing with your lives, and this mutual respect helps you to bring out the best in each other.
We often attract people who are mirrors of ourselves – they certainly mirror the stage we are at in our soul progress and they have also come in to help us evolve to the next one. But we need someone who mirrors our soul and shows us a reflection of how we can be in a relationship – one that reveals a person who is better than we thought we ever could be. Provided we have these Five Degrees of Chemistry, perhaps we need to ask ourselves whether we really need someone who shares our love of Patagonian hip-hop. If we discover we have those five degrees perhaps we should forgive them for their Nickleback collection. After all, do you want someone who mirrors your soul, or do you want a clone?
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